Hatip Dicle: The specter of Apoism is haunting the world

Hatip Dicle spoke of the growing global importance of Abdullah Öcalan's ideology and called for the freedom campaign to be expanded. He underlined the importance of the action days "Dialogues with Öcalan - ideas cannot be imprisoned".

There has been no sign of life from Abdullah Öcalan for more than three years. Öcalan has been imprisoned for 25 years under the most severe solitary confinement conditions on the prison island of Imrali. While this isolation system violated every law from the beginning, the incommunicado detention of the past 39 months took that violation to the extreme. Neither lawyers nor relatives can visit him, and other means of communication such as telephone or letters have been forbidden to Öcalan since his imprisonment. Turkey is thus violating both national and international law. However, the responsible European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is not taking action, thus strengthening the Turkish state in its system of white torture on Imrali.

Since 10 October, an international campaign has been taking place under the motto "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish question". Thousands of prisoners are carrying out actions and protests are taking place all over the world.

As part of the freedom campaign, a series of actions and events under the name "Dialogues with Öcalan - Ideas cannot be imprisoned" will take place from today to 22 June in more than 50 cities in over 15 countries, including France, Germany, Catalonia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, Colombia, Cyprus, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Poland and Kenya.

In this ANF interview, the Kurdish politician in exile and spokesperson for the campaign "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish question", Hatip Dicle, talked about the importance of such initiatives.

"Öcalan exposes capitalism"

How did the idea of ​​the "Dialogues with Öcalan" action days come about? What is the goal behind it? Who organizes the whole thing?

There is a campaign that has been running since 10 October 2023. We are constantly discussing the question of how we can spread this campaign, how we can create even more publicity, and our search for new ways continues. In this context, the idea of ​​the "Days of Dialogue with Abdullah Öcalan" was born. But not only that. The international conspiracy and the system of absolute isolation in Imralı was not only directed against Abdullah Öcalan as a political personality and political representative of the Kurdish people. This isolation was also directed against Öcalan as a pioneer and philosopher of democratic socialism of the 21st century. Because Öcalan developed an alternative theory of modernity to capitalist modernity by developing the paradigm of democratic modernity and the sociology of freedom. Therefore, it is no coincidence that he wrote: "I am deeply aware that an anti-capitalist is being judged here in my person." This is also the main reason for the international dimension of the Imralı system and the continued silence of the international community and its institutions. The defense speeches he wrote in Imralı expose the capitalist system and offer alternative solutions to societies. Although the system of imprisonment and isolation aims to keep Öcalan's ideas away from society, there is a lively "dialogue" between him and activists and intellectuals from various social movements around the world. The impact of his defense speeches and especially his manifesto for a democratic civilization shows that Öcalan's ideas have long since overcome prison walls and that ideas cannot be locked up. The Days of Dialogue, which will take place from today to 22 June, are intended to demonstrate the impact of Öcalan's political philosophy. Events and actions will be organized in more than 50 cities on different continents to discuss Öcalan's ideas. For example, there will be book launches of defense writings, public readings, information stands, artistic actions, theater, educational seminars and other formats.

So far, events are planned in Kenya, Colombia, Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, Catalonia, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Cyprus, Belgium, Great Britain, Slovenia and Poland. Actions and events are also being organized in other countries. They are organized by democratic, socialist, ecological, feminist, solidarity and student groups and Kurdish institutions.

"Öcalan offers concrete ways out of the impasse"

Previously, a series of events were organized under the name "Öcalan Reading Days". Various social groups from many parts of the world who took part in these reading days drew attention to the paradigms of Abdullah Öcalan. What do you think Öcalan's paradigms offer these groups, and why do they resonate so strongly?

One dimension of the campaign "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish question" is undoubtedly the effort to convey the paradigm for building a democratic, ecological society based on women's liberation, also outside of Kurdistan. For this reason, the “Days of Dialogue with Öcalan” can also be defined as a continuation and deepening of the “Global Öcalan Books Day!” in December 2023. They refer to various movements, circles and intellectuals who make the political philosophy of Leader Öcalan the basis of their own practice. Because the crisis of capitalist modernity is present everywhere and is constantly worsening. However, while the democratic and socialist forces do not organize the necessary ways out in this period of chaos, right-wing and fascist movements - as we saw in the recent European Parliament elections - exploit and manipulate society's fears. Abdullah Öcalan offers the socialist forces concrete solutions to overcome the theoretical and practical crisis. In this context, Öcalan points out the need for a radical intellectual, moral and political renewal of the opposition to the system. There are aspirations and efforts to broaden the points highlighted by Öcalan. Of course, there are shortcomings, but we strive to overcome them. The social movements lack a holistic theory that can bring together the various struggles. Today, the theory of democratic modernity offers perspectives on fundamental questions for the left, the socialist, progressive, democratic forces, the women's movements, the environmental movement and all progressive forces that are searching. We strive to spread this approach to solutions and to ally ourselves with those who are also searching.

"More than solidarity has emerged"

With the freedom campaign for Öcalan, we see that an international solidarity network is developing. Can and should this growing network become an international movement?

The Kurdistan Freedom Movement, with its guide Öcalan, the architect of this revolution, is also playing a pioneering role in the development of democratic modernity in the international context with its resistance and the structures it has created. With the revolution in Rojava, which is based on the idea of ​​democratic confederalism, an international solidarity movement has developed. The term solidarity does not fully cover the meeting of these circles, because we are increasingly seeing how different circles around the world are trying to apply Abdullah Öcalan's ideas and concepts in their own social contexts and struggles.

The saying "A specter is haunting Europe - the specter of communism" shows a dialectical development towards the discourse "The apoist specter is haunting the world". The power of this specter is much greater than the currently organized force.

The current situation affects large circles, but is not reflected in a corresponding concrete organization. The question of internationalism is one of the main themes that Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] addresses in his defense writings. While he describes the World Economic Forum in Davos as the "club of the rich", he calls the left forces that come together in platforms such as the World Social Forums "the club of the poor".

It turns out, however, that these forums are far from grasping and overcoming the chaos of capitalist modernity. Abdullah Öcalan's proposal for global democratic confederalism offers concrete perspectives on these issues, and we can increasingly see that this proposal is being accepted as a concrete basis by various forces.

“Every Kurd must work like a diplomat”

Do you think that these activities and the freedom campaign have been able to put pressure on the Turkish state and the institutions that have so far remained silent about the isolation in Imralı?

These events are only one dimension of the freedom campaign. They represent an important standard for deepening relations with broad social circles and spreading Öcalan's ideas despite the conditions of isolation and conveying his importance as a philosopher and thinker to the public. However, all of this must take place in parallel with other directions in order to be able to exert sufficient pressure on political decision-makers. The legal fight against the violation of the law is a central dimension. In addition, diplomatic work must be intensified with the involvement of a broad public.

The aim of the campaign is the physical freedom of Abdullah Öcalan. To achieve this, we must be constantly active. Our friends are very active and that is good. Our people attach great importance to the campaign and are involved in it. We must strengthen this even more. The recent letters to the CPT have called on this institution and the Council of Europe to act. Such efforts should be carried out everywhere and locally. For example, in every town and municipality, press organisations, parties, civil society organisations and social movements should be visited, and this campaign should be put on the agenda of these institutions. Every Kurd should work like a diplomat for us to succeed. Every patriot, every person who is aware of the importance of democratic confederalism must take action. The defences must be widely disseminated, they must be passed on to those who are interested, interest must be aroused and organised.